Most of my time is spent taking care of people who are under the age of ten – infants, toddlers, young children. (I’m a nanny, a babysitter, the oldest cousin in my family, a big sister to a precious four-year-old – I’ve always had kids around me and hope I always do!) The thing that is always consistent among children is that they always have just one more need, one more want. “Just one more, please” are words I hear all the time. Just one more. Will I sing one more song? Give one more kiss to a scraped knee? Read one more book before bed? Hold you close for one more moment? Tickle you once more or play with you at the park? Answer one more curious inquiry? And then, of course, there are the other tasks that come with having small children in one’s care. Will I clean one more sticky face? Wipe up one more spilled glass of milk? Settle one more squabble and soothe one more sorrow? Prepare one more meal? Do one more of the seemingly endless loads of laundry? Give one more reminder to “use kind words” or to be careful near fragile objects? So many needs, these endless “one mores” that kids have.
A couple weeks ago I’d had a particularly long week, having been at one house or another each day for late nights, early mornings, and even overnight stays to take care of different families’ kids. Just prior to bedtime on Saturday, I could sense the exasperation creeping into my tone of voice. Particularly, I didn’t want to kiss another imagined “owie” (we were having a dramatic evening), but I did it anyway. By the time I had everyone settled for the night, I had regained my calm. As I rocked the youngest one to sleep, she snuggled into me and, as she drifted off, sleepily begged for one more song. Why not? So, while singing “Jesus Loves Me” – her favorite song – “just one more time,” I admired her sweet self, so perfectly content and relaxed in her sleep. And I was suddenly overwhelmed by the love of my Heavenly Father.
Our Heavenly Father is never exasperated by us.
Your needs, your wants, your mishaps and unintentional bumblings, your hopes and dreams, your hurts – real or imagined – are all important to Him because you are important to Him. Even the most loving parents and caretakers are exasperated at times – but our Father never is. You are never “too much” or “not enough.” You can never be too needy for God. He is never put out by your neediness; He is not upset by your humanity. He is not burdened with your care. It is His pleasure to meet your needs because you are His pleasure.
I think there is a part of us that is always childlike. Deep within ourselves, we crave the love and acceptance of a parent – and the only One who can perfectly satisfy these longings is our Heavenly Father. As life goes on, our bumblings and ponderings become more sophisticated, our wounds become more complex than a scraped knee, and our desires and dreams become more expansive. We grow older, but we will never outgrow our need for our Father to love us, to hold us, to come for us. And it is His delight to care for us.
Sometimes we miss just how intimately and intricately the Father’s heart is displayed throughout Scripture. While there are endless revelations to be gleaned from the Scriptures, the living and active words of God (Heb. 4:11), I am going to present a few truths with corresponding verses. And, actually, if only for the fact that many people can’t see a loving God the Father presented in the Old Testament, I am going to take most of these bits from there. As you read, focus on how they highlight the Father-Heart of God, His deep and relentless care for you, His precious child. Perhaps you had loving parents as an example; perhaps you did not. Perhaps there was someone else in your life who provided protection and nurture. The truth is, that whether you had fitting examples or wretched examples, God is nothing but good – and He alone is the true Goodness. He is a good, good Father, perfect in all of His ways – and I say that with utter certainty and without a hint of irony.
Your Heavenly Father wants you to run to His strong arms, to hold you close awhile longer. You cannot and will not escape the loving embrace and watchful care of the One know alone knows you completely.
- “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” – Deut. 33:27
- “O Lord, you have searched me and known me….You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.” – Ps. 139:1, 2-3
He longs for you to let Him come to your rescue. He wants to sing you “one more song” and whisper His words of love over you. You are not a disappointment to Him – ever. He delights in you – always.
- “The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” – Zeph. 3:17
- “Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God!” – 1 Jn. 3:1
He cares about your wounds, your sorrows and your disappointments. He wants to “kiss your owies,” big or small, real or perceived, and heal all your wounds – even the ones that are incurable and impossible. He is a Gentle Healer, whether your wounds are self-inflicted or came at the hands (or words) of others.
- ‘“For thus says the Lord, ‘Your affliction is incurable, your wound is severe . There is no one to plead your cause, that you may be bound up. You have no healing medicines….I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds…’”’ – Jer. 30:12-13, 17
- “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” – Jn. 3:16
Because you are His precious child and He loves you, He won’t let you go without correction. (Isn’t that beautiful?) There is nothing you do that is unknown to Him – there’s no need to hide or worry about getting caught, because He already knows. And more than that, He cares about you enough to discipline you and train you in righteousness.
- “…do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction. For whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father [does for] the son in whom He delights.” – Pro. 3:11-12
- “If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?….no chastening seems enjoyable for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” – Heb. 12:7, 11
Can you fathom such a love, this Father-Love of our good God? And there is so much, much more that could be said about this limitless Love. My little sister likes to call our grandfathers (or any older man whom she perceives to be like a grandpa) “Papa,” and “Daddy” has always been what we called our dad. She enjoys combining these terms into one all-encompassing name: Papa Daddy. There is something precious and tender about this name; it speaks to the desire of a father’s heart to protect and provide. That is what a good father does – that is what our Good Father does. Did you know that God wants to be your Papa Daddy? All the good daddy things I mentioned above, all the verses I shared, He wants to do and be for you. You are precious to Him. You are His child, and He delights in you because you are His.
My friends, I will say again: our Papa Daddy is never annoyed by us. Even the most devoted parents grow weary at times, but He never does. His lap is always available, and His arms are always safe. He is always ready to sing you one more song. He is always ready to wash the dirt off and pick you up again. He wants you in your neediness, your crying, your laughing, your asking, your yearning – He wants you in every state. Don’t let your need keep you distant; let it draw you deeper into the Love of your Papa Daddy.